The Shattering is a walking simulator that deals with traumatic events and how they affect our everyday lives and the process of accepting and overcoming them.
You are watching events as they unfold through the eyes of the main protagonist, John Evans. You start out in presumably what is the hospital, talking to one psychiatrist Doctor W. Richards. John seems to have been in a car accident while intoxicated and is suffering from amnesia. Doctor Richards is walking you through the process of recovering your memories.
The gameplay loop is very similar to other walking simulators such as Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch. The main controls consist of walking around the environment and interacting with a few items as the narrative progresses around you.
There are a few light puzzle elements, mostly revolving around interacting with the right items in the right order. They are not difficult but there is a lack of clear direction sometimes so you just end up wandering around the level, clicking everything in sight much like the point and click adventure games of yore.
The story is engaging and the element of mystery and figuring out what happened to John is riveting for the most part, although some sections of how the narrative is displayed can be a bit disjointed and the delivery ham fisted. The game play elements can sometimes be lacking clear direction as well.
Overall, the game deals with darker aspects of life that most other games don’t bother covering and that is something I can appreciate. Flaws of the game aside, fans of walking simulators and darker themes, such as trauma, have a solid game to look forward to.